Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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A. Released Tests1. What tests were released in 2007?
2. Were answers to the tests also released?
3. Were earlier tests released?
4. How were the tests released?
5. Are the released tests the actual tests that were administered to students?
6. Why were students’ tests and answer sheets not released?
7. What are field-test questions and anchor questions?
There are eight to ten field-test or anchor questions in each spring’s FCAT tests. These questions are included throughout the test, so a student cannot tell which questions are which when taking the test. These questions do not count for a student’s score and have been removed from the released tests.
- -Field-test questions are newly-developed questions that are being tried out before they can be used on a future test. Field-test questions must be tried out at least one year before they are used to decide a student’s score. If the data on the field-test questions are acceptable, then the questions may be used on an actual test and count toward a student’s score. These questions are removed from the released tests because they may be used in future versions of the tests.
- -Anchor questions are used to “equate” test questions from one year to the next. “Equating” basically ensures that the scores mean the same thing from one year to the next. Anchor questions are reused to create a link from the previous year’s scores to the current year’s scores. This link makes valid comparisons of scores from year to year possible. Anchor questions are removed from the released tests because they are used in future versions of the FCAT.
8. Where do students record their answers?
B. Taking the Test1. How much time are students given to take the test?
2. What tools/resources can students use during the test?
3. What are FCAT Achievement Levels 1 through 5? What is an acceptable performance level?
4. What score is needed to pass the test?
5. How can students who are visually-impaired take these tests?
6. What allowances are made for students with disabilities who take the FCAT?
7. What allowances are made for English Language Learners (ELLs)?
C. Using the Released Tests1. How should the released tests be used?
2. Are there improper uses of the released tests?
D. Test Questions1. How are test questions selected for the FCAT?
2. What kinds of answers must students provide on the FCAT?
3. Are all of the questions on the test on grade level?
4. Are all FCAT questions the same level of difficulty?
5. Why might FCAT questions seem hard to adults?
E. Scoring the Released Tests1. Are the correct answers for the test questions provided?
2. Are there different kinds of questions on the test?
3. What other information is provided about the test questions?
4. How are the FCAT written response questions scored?
5. How is the total score on the FCAT determined?
6. What score is needed to pass the Grade 10 FCAT?
7. Why is the FCAT scored using item response methods and pattern scoring?
8. What information do parents receive about student scores?
F. Release of Tests1. Why did the Department of Education release tests again in 2007?
2. Why aren’t all tests at all grade levels released every year?
3. How much does it cost to release tests?
4. What are the Department of Education’s plans for releasing tests?
G. Information About the FCAT1. What other information is available about the FCAT?
2. What information is provided to parents about the FCAT each year?
H. FCAT Released Tests Links1. How to Use the Released Tests
2. Return to FCAT Released Tests Home Page